I Am Not a Serial Killer
I Am Not a Serial Killer is a 2016 Irish-British supernatural horror thriller film directed by Billy O’Brien and based on Dan Wells’ 2009 novel of the same name. Going in I didn’t know what to expect other than a fellow horror writer told me I had to see it. Take an awkward teen who works at a funeral home, give him sociopathic tendencies, and give him a creepy murder mystery to solve, and that’s this movie. Although slow-moving at times, it has that Indie-film feel. The acting is rather good and the imagery and music throughout are artful and unnerving. Noteworthy is Christopher Lloyd who plays the suspicious neighbor stalked by the teen protagonist. We start to notice that the serial killer the boy is following is not exactly human. This movie is unique and well-made. And, the final conclusion is rather intense, bringing many storyline pieces full-circle—not to mention it is super intense and visually disturbing. That alone makes this a must-see flick.
The Gift is a 2015 American-Australian film written, co-produced, and directed by Joel Edgerton. The film stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as a couple intimidated by a past figure played by Edgerton. This movie really snuck up on me. I was immediately drawn into the the triangle of psychological turmoil that builds between the characters. Happily married couple trying to have a baby is interrupted by an old “buddy” who suddenly becomes too needy and suspiciously kind. We start to wonder what really happened between Bates and Edgerton during their high school years. I will tell you that nothing is what it seems. There were definitely some twists and turns by the end, which left me with interesting questions and uncomfortable feelings. The issue of revenge and how far someone might go to get back at someone is rather powerful. Also, the idea that the past really never dies—especially when some people are unable to let go of it. This is a movie that was unique and well-done. It’s also a chance to see Bateman play a different type of leading role. That was particularly enjoyable, and added to the scary vibe of the piece.
Cold in July
Cold in July is a 2014 American independent crime drama film directed by Jim Mickle, written by Mickle and Nick Damici. The film takes place in 1980s Texas and is based on the novel of the same name by author Joe R. Lansdale. I would have never watched this movie, but it was recommended to me. Going in blindly, I was happy to discover Michael C. Hall (from Dexter), Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson made a dynamic trio. The flick opens with Hall’s character shooting an intruder in his home. A meek, good guy, he is rather shaken up by what he has done. Shepard surfaces as the father who wants revenge for his son’s death. Things derail as Hall discovers the man he killed has a different identity. Don Johnson is the garish investigator that promises to help put all the pieces together. The men uncover some crazy secrets, and they choose to work together, ultimately having to decide what it is that they are going to do with what they have uncovered. A quirky ‘80s feel, blended with decent acting and a few plot surprises, make for an engaging film experience. There are also some memorable scenes that have stuck with me. Gotta love those graveyard moments…my favorite.